Need a Lift? Want to Carpool? Characteristics of Different Target Groups of Ride Sharing
R Farrokhikhiavi, University of Aachen, DE
Ride sharing can be an efficient approach to reduce traffic volume and CO2 emissions. The paper presents characteristics of different target groups of ride sharing to help to understand and address those groups in a more effective way.
Ride sharing can be seen as an efficient approach of Mobility Management (MM) concepts to reduce traffic volume and thereby CO2 emissions. And on an individual level it can reduce travelling or commuting expenses. But its promised great potential is barely tapped.
The research project ?Potentials and options of cross linking internet based car pooling platforms for commuters" commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Transport analyses ways of increasing the effectiveness of public internet based car pooling platforms (CPP) by focusing on function and potential of CPP as an integrated element of comprehensive MM and traffic planning concepts. In addition to that a common interface for cross linking CPP providers has been developed and the potentials of car pooling in terms of traffic volume, traffic performance and CO2 reduction has been analysed and calculated. Furthermore empirical data on users of CPP platforms has been acquired by an online survey.
The paper will present research results of this survey with over 2300 participants. Those are registered users of seven CPP platforms and therefore they have already decided to share a ride with others in a private car. By definition there are two kinds of ride sharing: car pooling as ride sharing on a regular basis especially for commuting; and offering or needing a lift as ride sharing on an irregular or a one-time basis mainly for leisure or other private activities.
The analysis of the survey points out the differences in characteristics and the current phase of life of those two groups of people. The respondents who offer or search a lift are compared to the general population in Germany above-average much younger, live in one- or two-person households, are unmarried and childless. They are highly educated and have in conformity with their phase of life as students or career entrants a low income. In contrast people who want to carpool are as well above-average young but they are in a different phase of life: They are above-average more frequently married and have children. They are also highly educated and have a large income.
People who offer or search a lift live at a residential location with good connection to their place of work by public transport, cycle or use public transport more often and therefore drive less. But they have much more rarely a car available hence they are dependent on public transport. On the contrary people who want to carpool have a poor public transport connection to their place of work, have high car availability and thereby drive above-average more frequently. In addition to that the distance between their residence and place of work is very large (66 km) compared to the average distance in Germany (17 km).
Target groups of public transport are well analysed but little is known about possible target groups of ride sharing, people who don't fit into the target groups of public transport. The results of this survey allow a profound insight into the target groups of ride sharing, their sociodemographic characteristics, mobility opportunities and behaviour, needs and attitudes. This will make it easier for planners and consultants to enter a more effective dialogue with their target group. Hence a shift from people driving alone to more groups of people sharing a ride can be accomplished. Those people would benefit from lower travelling or commuting expenses and the environment and general public would benefit from a better traffic flow and reduced traffic volume and CO2 emissions.
Association for European Transport